That Banksy. Who knows what he’s going to do next, or where she’s going to pop up, or how they stay so tricksy? In the latest unofficial edition of 'where in the world is Banksy?', the answer is Gaza.
Yes, the art world’s chief enigma has visited the conflict-ravaged strip of coastline — and he’s made a video to prove it. Exit Through the Gift Shop this isn’t, though it does share the same sense of humour. Banksy’s Gaza clip might just be the darkest tourism video you’ve ever seen.
With the plight of the 1.8 million Palestinians who call Gaza home clearly on his mind, Banksy walks through the streets — unseen by the camera, of course — to show the daily reality of its miles upon miles of rubble. “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination,” he tells us, before surveying the dismal sights well off the beaten track.
Typical advertising catch-phrases — such as “nestled in an exclusive setting” and “plenty of scope for refurbishment” — pop up over footage of crumbling buildings. The sad facts follow, telling in no uncertain terms what life is like for Gaza residents. It’s a bleak picture.
The video also features other evidence of his time there, or what may be his gloomiest residency in history. New Banksy artworks litter the bomb-damaged strip, as first seen on his Instagram account two days ago, followed by his website this morning.
Yes, he’s been spray-painting up a storm all over the place, making a statement with street art. His murals call attention not only to the situation but to the disinterest displayed by most of the world in response.
One, an image of a cute cat, perhaps says it all. Or maybe the accompanying text on his website does: “A local man came up and said 'Please — what does this mean?' I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”